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A Year in Smart Politics

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A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013

ushouseseal10.pngFor new readers of Smart Politics, this end-of-the-year report offers a slice of how the data was carved up at Smart Politics in 2013 across the more than 200 reports published on the site this year.

The plurality of coverage centered on the U.S. House of Representatives, with 73 reports focused on that institution, or 34 percent of the year's content.

A sampling of such stories includes:

· Western Women: Regional Gender Disparities in Congressional Representation

· To Serve or Represent? Website Taglines of US Representatives

· Meet the Three House Women Who Go by "Congressman"

· African-American US Representatives by the Numbers

· Running from the Flag? Old Glory Symbolism Waning on US House Campaign Websites

Sixty-three reports discussed developments in or campaigns for the U.S. Senate (30 percent) such as:

· The Longest-Held Republican US Senate Seats

· US Senate Special Elections by the Numbers

· Unusual Entrances: Clergymen Turned US Senators

· Harry Byrd's Death Leaves 167 Living Ex-Senators

· The Third Wheel: States with the Most 3rd Party US Senate Candidacies

Some reports focused on members of both legislative chambers:

· Clockwatchers: Capitol Hill Republicans Showcase 'Debt Clocks' on Websites

· Unusual Exits: 6 Members of Congress Killed by Accidental Gunshots

· 64 Percent of 9/11 Legislators Are Out of Congress

Forty-two reports addressed governorships or upcoming gubernatorial contests across the country (20 percent):

· The Most Competitive States for Gubernatorial Elections Since 1900

· The Five-Timers Club: Gubernatorial Edition

· The Top 50 Longest-Serving Governors of All Time

· 7 Gubernatorial Election Double-Takes

· Which States Have the Highest Rates of Female Gubernatorial Nominees?

· Plurality Blues: Governors on the Hot Seat

Another 26 reports focused on the presidency (12 percent):

· Who's #1? The Media's 2016 Republican Field

· The Death of Presidents: Beware of June and July

· Obama Has Mentioned Terrorism Nearly 1,500 Times as President

· Presidential Commencement Addresses: Notre Dame Reigns

· George H.W. Bush: Hater of Broccoli

· Pollsters Ignoring Rick Perry's 2016 'Campaign'

An additional four percent of reporting addressed other political offices or institutions.

The plurality of Smart Politics reporting in 2013 focused on national politics, regional politics, or politics and campaigns across multiple states (79 reports, or 37.1 percent).

However, stand alone reports were also written on political developments in 37 different states led by Smart Politics' home state of Minnesota (33) and followed by South Dakota and Wisconsin (eight each), Iowa, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania (six), Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia (five), and Kentucky, New Hampshire, and New Jersey (four).

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Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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